Catherine Davis
Catherine Davis
A Southwestern High School teacher has been arrested on charges of battery and neglect of a dependent after an Indiana State Police investigation into an incident that occurred in December 2019.
Detective Joe Loyd started looking into the case on Dec. 17, 2019, after the ISP was notified of an incident that occurred a day earlier between a teacher and a student at Southwestern High School in Hanover.
The investigation determined that Catherine L. Davis, 39, of Madison, a special needs teacher at the school, was involved in an altercation with a 14-year-old student on two separate occasions on Monday, Dec. 16.
During the first incident, Davis was reported to have head-butted the student during an altercation in the school cafeteria. In the second incident, which occurred later in the day, Davis was reported to have pulled the same student onto the floor of the cafeteria after food was spilled.
Both incidents were reported to school administrators, and Indiana State Police was contacted to investigate. At the conclusion of that investigation, the case was submitted to the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office for review and the charges were then filed.
On Wednesday, a warrant was issued for Davis’ arrest on two counts of battery and two counts of neglect of a dependent, all felonies. Davis was arrested Thursday without incident and taken to the Jefferson County Jail where she was incarcerated.
Southwestern Superintendent Jeff Bates said per school policy, after the incident Davis was immediately placed on paid administrative leave until the incident could be investigated. At some point during that leave, the decision was made to terminate her employment and a temporary replacement was hired to fill that spot on the faculty.
Bates also noted that Davis was actually an employee of the Madison Area Educational Special Service Unit assigned to teach in Southwestern schools. He said it was his understanding that she had been employed by the special services unit for a number of years but he could not say how much of that time was at Southwestern.
Indiana State Police was assisted by the Indiana Child Advocacy Center in Madison, Southwestern School Corporation, Indiana Department of Child Services and the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office.